Just regular guys. Just hangin’ with the boys who have a little time on their hands on the weekend idling in Homs. Some have great senses of humor. You can sense the fiber of Mark Twain there mixed with O’Henry weaving the narrative in new and exotic contexts.The romanticizing of the Free Syrian Army is a crock. Not that the opposition has a greater “purity of arms.”
( see link at end)…Cash from Gulf benefactors who favour religious fighters has given the Salafists a high profile. Some fighters exaggerate their religiosity. “We grow beards and act more religious to get money,” admits a fighter with al-Farouq, an Islamist group. “But many of us drink beer.” Although the opposition in general has failed to present a clear vision of Syria after the Assad regime has fallen, Salafism, with its glorification of death in the cause of jihad, has provided its fighters with an identity.Read More:http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21564912-salafists-are-rise-have-not-dominated-opposition—so-far
…These are the Dinky-Doos, the touring concert party in J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions; Salafist kooks, Free spirits, working men, Academics, all singing arm in arm like Priestley’s touring concert party; they are a bit stranded and they need money to continue with the good deeds and entertainment as in the book where the manager has beaten a path with the receipts and the lady pianist. Here, the poor rebels are reduced to fighting the Syrian regime with sling-shots and home made catapults, but wait, those salt-of-the-earth Quataris and amiable princes are endearing themselves with homespun advice, props and baggage, full of a little moolah to keep the show on the road…
(se link at end)…Among the opposition, videos have emerged of women holding guns, claiming to be fighting with the FSA, but activists say these videos are merely a show of a support.
“Videos of women battalions or women fighters are sometimes meant to embarrass men who are sitting on their bums and not participating in the struggle,” Omar, an activist in Homs, says….
But al-Meeki’s case is different.
“She slept in the military camp and wore her military uniform everyday. The fighters respected her and obeyed her orders,” Abo Adnan, a Syrian filmmaker who travelled to the south of Damascus to film clashes between government forces and the FSA, says.
220;This was very unusual to see,” he laughs. “I came to the town thinking the Jond Allah battalion is some al-Qaeda inspired group of fighters.
“But they were not. They treated al-Meeki like an older sister. They are normal people. They laugh and joke. Some pray, some don’t. Some smoke, some don’t. Some even drink.”
Abo Adnan’s upcoming film “The Southern Heartlines” will feature footage of al-Meeki training the fighters….
Raghda, a 25- year-old activist in the southern city of Deraa, says she cannot wait for her family and for the rest of Syria to see the film.Read More:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/10/20121022105057794364.html
Who knew that ole’ Barack Obamster was into American top 20 lists? Like Casey Casem or in the style of Dick Clark, the charts rule:
(see link at end)…Obama administration officials at times have sought to trigger debate over how long the nation might employ the kill lists. But officials said the discussions became dead ends.
In one instance, Mullen, the former Joint Chiefs chairman, returned from Pakistan and recounted a heated confrontation with his counterpart, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani….
…Mullen told White House and counterterrorism officials that the Pakistani military chief had demanded an answer to a seemingly reasonable question: After hundreds of drone strikes, how could the United States possibly still be working its way through a “top 20” list?
The issue resurfaced after the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden. Seeking to repair a rift with Pakistan, Panetta, the CIA director, told Kayani and others that the United States had only a handful of targets left and would be able to wind down the drone campaign.
A senior aide to Panetta disputed this account, and said Panetta mentioned the shrinking target list during his trip to Islamabad but didn’t raise the prospect that drone strikes would end. Two former U.S. officials said the White House told Panetta to avoid even hinting at commitments the United States was not prepared to keep.
“We didn’t want to get into the business of limitless lists,” said a former senior U.S. counterterrorism official who spent years overseeing the lists. “There is this apparatus created to deal with counterterrorism. It’s still useful. The question is: When will it stop being useful? I don’t know.” Read More:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/plan-for-hunting-terrorists-signals-us-intends-to-keep-adding-names-to-kill-lists/2012/10/23/4789b2ae-18b3-11e2-a55c-39408fbe6a4b_print.html